MOUNT VERNON — About 30 people attended the annual “Take Back the Night” march and vigil on Public Square Tuesday evening. The rally was sponsored by New Directions: The Domestic Abuse Shelter of Knox County, and the DELTA Project, which is dedicated to preventing domestic and sexual violence.
Despite the small turnout, DELTA Project Coordinator Christina Barnard said she was pleased with the way things went and the people who showed up to support the victims of violence.
“And maybe,” she said, “The people in cars we passed and which passed us are thinking about how we can make the nights safer for everyone.”
During the program, Laurie Thompson, New Directions staff educator and child advocate, announced a new program aimed at preventing child sexual assault.
“Its aim is to mobilize all adults to take responsibility for the recognition and prevention of child sexual assault,” she said. Workshops will be held to increase understanding and personal responsibility and to offer concrete ways to prevent abuse.
Mayor Richard Mavis read a proclamation naming April as Sexual Abuse Awareness Month. In the proclamation, Mavis said people need to work together to educate the community about sexual abuse, support the victims and encourage people to speak out against violence.